Native Astronomy and Spatial Resonance: Aligning with the Cosmos
Gregory Cajete, Native American educator whose work is dedicated to honoring the foundations of indigenous knowledge in education. Dr. Cajete is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. He has served as a New Mexico Humanities scholar in ethno botany of Northern New Mexico and as a member of the New Mexico Arts Commission. In addition, he has lectured at colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Italy, Japan, Russia, Bhutan, Taiwan, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, England, France and Germany.
He worked at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 21 years. While at the Institute, he served as Dean of the Center for Research and Cultural Exchange, Chair of Native American Studies and Professor of ethno- science. He organized and directed the First and Second Annual National Native American Very Special Arts Festival held in respectively in Santa Fe, NM in 1991and Albuquerque, NM in 1992. In 1995, he was offered a position in American Indian education at the University of New Mexico, College of Education
He is the former Director of Native American Studies and an Emeritus Professor in the Division of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Cajete earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from New Mexico Highlands University with majors in both Biology and Sociology and a minor in Secondary Education. He received his Masters of Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in Adult and Secondary Education. He received his Ph.D. from International College – Los Angeles -New Philosophy Program in Social Science Education with an emphasis in Native American Studies.
Dr. Cajete has received several fellowships and academic distinctions, including the American Indian Graduate Fellowship from the US-DOE Office of Indian Education (1977-78); the D’arcy McNickle Fellowship in American Indian History from the Newberry Library, Chicago, IL (1984-85); and the first Katrin Lamon Fellowship in American Indian Art and Education (1985-1986) from the School of American Research in Santa Fe, NM.
Dr. Cajete is a practicing watercolor, pastel, acrylic, ceramic and metal artist. He is extensively involved with art and its application to education. He is also a scholar of herbalism and holistic health. In this capacity, he has researched Native American, Chinese and Ayurvedic healing philosophies and the cultural perspectives of health and wholeness.
Dr. Cajete also designs culturally responsive curricula geared to the special needs and learning styles of Native American students. These curricula are based upon Native American understanding of the “nature of nature’ and utilizes this foundation to develop an understanding of the science and artistic thought process as expressed in Indigenous perspectives of the natural world.
Dr. Cajete has authored ten books: “Look to the Mountain: An Ecology of Indigenous Education,” (Kivaki Press, 1994); “Ignite the Sparkle: An Indigenous Science Education Curriculum Model”, (Kivaki Press, 1999); “Spirit of the Game: Indigenous Wellsprings (2004),” “A People’s Ecology: Explorations in Sustainable Living,” and “Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence” (Clear Light Publishers, 1999 and 2000). “Critical Neurophilosophy and Indigenous Wisdom”, Don Jacobs (Four Arrows), Gregory Cajete and Jongmin Lee (Sense Publishers, 2010). “Indigenous Community: Teachings of the Seventh Fire,” (Living Justice Press, 2015); “Walking with Indigenous Philosophy: Justice and Addiction Recovery, 3rd edition. Cajete, G.A., J.G. Hansen, J.H.C. Vest and J.E. Charlton” (J. Charlton Publishing, 2019); “G.A. Cajete, Editor. Native Minds Rising: Exploring Transformative Indigenous Education and Sacred Journeys: Personal Visions of Indigenous Education” (J. Charlton Publications, 2020). Dr. Cajete also has prefaces and chapters in 35 other books along with numerous journal articles and over 350 national and international keynote and workshop presentations. Dr. Cajete retired from the University of New Mexico in June 2020 and is currently working as an independent scholar, consultant and writer.